A CT scan alone may not determine ALS. It is difficult to diagnose with simply one test.
The following is a list of tests that are normally done to rule out other disorders and diagnose ALS:
electrodiagnostic tests including electomyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
blood and urine studies including high resolution serum protein electrophoresis, thyroid and parathyroid hormone levels and 24 hour urine collection for heavy metals
x-rays, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
myelogram of cervical spine
muscle and/or nerve biopsy
thorough neurological examination
I have been dealing with tingling, muscle twitches everywhere and facial twitches and numbness and attacks of not being able to breathe correctly. I have had bouts of my tongue feeling heavy and my speech is slurred. I am choking at night, on my saliva, several times a night. I have begun to pile pillows behind me so I am sleeping in more of a sitting position, which has helped. I have lost the ability to curl my toes esp in my right foot. Overall my muscles seem to be weakened quickly. I have spells of being dizzy and out of it. I drop things and trip very easily now. I have also noticed, when I have the major attacks, my eyes are very glassy and red, with pain behind them. I stay very calm and I focus on taking breaths even though it feels like I can't, which I believe it helps. I have extreme fatigue and now depression. I went to the hospital in 2005 and they thought it was a TIA. I have had few symptoms until 2009.Since February, 2012 my symptoms have been steady and worsening. They first thought MS but they ruled it out with a MRI of my brain. My O2 levels have been lower. A CT of my spine showed damage and degeneration and narrowing, of my spinal column. They thought maybe severe arthritis, but they won't say for sure until I see the Neurologist. I believe It is ALS .I am taking meds, but it has not helped a great deal(Neurontin). I also have had IV steroids and I am on another round of tablet form,(Prednisone). The IV steroids worked better(Solumedrol). I have had all normal Labs, come back and an ANA test, normal. I do have a cousin, who does have ALS and another cousin with MS. Sorry so long... Any ideas out there? Thank You, Angela.
I'm so sorry to hear of your condition Angela... My mother recently passed away from ALS that started in her face (bulbar) and had all the same symptoms as you. I'd recommend getting a breathing machine & a saliva machine prescribed... There is medication to help with saliva but it may harden the mucus causing you to choke. The only relief my mother got was a saliva suction machine which we were able to get Medi-Cal to approve and they are pretty cheap online. University neurology doctors can diagnose you with a multitude of tests, one being an EMG... The last resort is a tracheotomy like Stephen Hawking received... I'll be praying for you and I hope you are able to spend lots of time with the people you love...
I'm so sorry about your mother. How long did your mother know what it was, if I may ask? I'm trying so hard to find other diseases, that it could be and I'm running out. I want to know, so I can plan what to do. I started sleeping upright and that has helped a lot with the choking. I'm so tired when I wake up. I have had an issue with not being able to wake up and being so exhausted all day for 3 years. I feel like I never went to bed. The EMG shows nerve damage correct? I have a lot of family who live close to me. I don't go to college anymore. I couldn't make it through an entire class. I spend all day with my 5 year old. I lay awake while he sleeps and love on him and just look at him. I try to play kickball and his games and for a 5 year old, he's very understanding that mommy can't do what I used to. He is my focus, (College and making the big bucks), isn't important to me any more. I thank you for the reply and the prayers, greatest luck to you.
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